On This Metal And The Passage Of Time

Lot 653, 11 Dec 2007 at Wright20, sold for $12,000

Speaking of Donald Judd chairs, a copper armchair was ordered, and produced by Lehni in 2006. It was sold at auction for some reason in 2007. It was sold at auction again in 2011. It is now, in 2023, up for sale again.

Lot 216, 27 June 2011 at Wright20, sold for $10,625

The copper armchair is sort of the archetypal piece of Judd furniture. In a project about seriality and variation, it is a single statement chair. And in its relatively brief, 16-year existence, this single chair has clearly seen some stuff.

Lot 145, 18 July 2023 at LA Modern, current bid: $6,000 [update: it sold for $15,720]

In 2007, it looked pristine, practically new. In 2011, it had clearly been polished for sale. And in 2023, wow, dawg, you live like this? Beyond the overall patina, which is substantial, there are two holes [?], vertically aligned, on one side where, I don’t even know what; they seem too low for a cupholder?

Speaking of gorgeous patina: Donald Judd, Untitled, 1972, image via Sprueth-Magers

I was trying to remember where I got the idea that Judd insisted that his metal objects, particularly his bronze and copper works, be either perfectly maintained or left undisturbed to accrue the physical rewards of the passage of time. So I googled it, and it turns out I was told that by a Judd person, and I’d blogged about it 10 years ago when bronze kitchens were a thing.

And so it is that this one, exceptional chair is in perfect harmony with its creator’s intent, and it is also able to tell its own thrice-flipped material story, while reminding me of my own.

Previously, related: On Metal And The Passage of Time
Previously, also related to patina and the passage of time: Untitled (Joan Collins Toile de Jouy), 2015 [h/t @jfrigg]